Thursday, May 2, 2019

Blog Tour Stop: Love From A-Z by S.K. Ali

ARC, 352 pages           
Release Date: April 30, 2019
Published by: Salaam Reads
Read from: April 27-May 1, 2019
Source: Publisher (I received a copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. I received no compensation of any kind. This did nothing to influence my review.) 
TW: Islamophobes 
For fans of: Contemporary Romance, Sparkly Covers, Realistic Fiction, YA

     From William C. Morris Award Finalist S.K. Ali comes an unforgettable romance that is part The Sun Is Also a Star mixed with Anna and the French Kiss , following two Muslim teens who meet during a spring break trip.
     A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.
     An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.
     But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.
     When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.
     Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her.
     Then her path crosses with Adam’s.
     Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.
     Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.
Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.
     Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…
     Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
    Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.


     I am a sucker for a contemporary romance with a pretty cover. And this one caught my attention from the beginning. And me liking Ali's first book was a pretty good indicator that I would like this one too. And I was not disappointed. 
"Following Zayneb into the classroom, I felt like the birds on her hijab. Light and intent on soaring. She was the real deal. The rare type: a WYSIWYG. What you see is what you get."
pg. 74
     Zayneb is being mistreated in class and her anger and how she reacts gets her suspended from school. She then goes to Doha to spend this new time with her aunt. Here she meets Adam. Adam has some secrets just like Zayneb. He's keeping them from his dad and sister. And just like Zayneb, Adam is keeping his secrets in his journal that the two of them share: A Marvels and Oddities journal...
"Never, ever quake in the face of hate, Zayneb."
pg. 153
     I LOVED Zayneb. She was so ferocious and heart felt. I loved seeing her shake up things and how she was ready to change so many things. I remember wanting to get into the book and take on her teacher myself. It was so good to see her learn so much about herself and find out the best way to get things done. I loved that spark she had and I was so glad to see she didn't lose it. 
"Zayneb, did you eat him with your eyes? [...] Because you look like you've gotten a stomach ache from over eating"
pg. 185
     I know that I've enjoyed a book from how attached I get and how much I learn from it. And this one I learned so much from. I found myself going to look for more information on so many things. And writing so many things down. There's not many books that I've read that I could do this with, so this was a welcome change. 
"There's always a solution, remember"
pg. 185
     I did wish there was more world building there. I wanted to see Doha. I was able to catch glimpses through the museum and the beach, but I wish there was more. It could be me because I'm so into settings (look at my blog name) but I did want a little bit more. It still made for a great story tho.
"The beginning of something can determine the beauty of the entire thing..."
pg. 197
     S.K. Ali has another winner with this wonderful book! I love so many things about it, from the beautiful cover, to the fiery characters! There is so much to love about this book and I just know everyone will love it as much as I did!
Overall, I give this

S. K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in the Toronto Star. Her family of Muslim scholars is consistently listed in the The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, and her insight into Muslim culture is both personal and far-reaching. A mother of a teenage daughter herself, S. K. Ali's debut YA is a beautiful and nuanced story about a young woman exploring her identity through friendship, family, and faith.

Look for more of us on the Tour: 

Mon, April 29 – Utopia State of Mind
Tues, April 30 – Andi’s ABCs
Weds, May 1 – Runaway with Dreamthieves
Fri, May 3 – Vicky Who Reads
Sat, May 4 – Book Scents
Tues, May 7 – As Told by Zaheerah
Thurs, May 9 – Pop! Goes the Reader
Fri, May 10 – Rich in Color
Mon, May 13 – Actin’ Up With Books
Tues, May 14 – Kaitlyn Gosiaco’s Blog
Weds, May 15 – It Starts at Midnight
Thurs, May 16 – Sleepy Sam Reads
Fri, May 17 – Wishful Endings


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